Cannes why I just love this city

Cannes

Cannes is a city located in the French Riviera. Tourists will find this a busy destination and the host of the annual Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. It is a commune of France located in the Alpes-Maritimes department.

The city is also famous for its luxury shops, restaurants, and hotels. On 3 November 2011 it played host to the G20 organisation of industrialised nations.

The Promenade de la Croisette is the waterfront avenue with palm trees. La Croisette is known for picturesque beaches, for restaurants, cafés and boutiques.

la-promenade-de-la-croisette-cannes

Le Suquet, the old town, provides a good view of La Croisette – The fortified tower and Chapel of St Anne house the Musée de la Castre. The Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned on the Île Sainte-Marguerite.

The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Provence, houses artifacts from prehistoric to present, in an 18th-century mansion. The Musée de la Castre has objects from the Pacific Atolls, Peruvian relics and Mayan pottery. Vistors can also see the Musée de la Marine, Musée de la Mer, Musée de la Photographie and Musée International de la Parfumerie.

Cannes of the 19th century can still be seen in its grand villas, built to reflect the wealth and standing of their owners and inspired by anything from medieval castles to Roman villas.

Lord Brougham’s Italianate Villa Eléonore Louise (one of the first in Cannes) was built between 1835 and 1839. Also known as the Quartier des Anglais, this is the oldest residential area in Cannes.

Another landmark is the Villa Fiésole (known today as the Villa Domergue) designed by Jean-Gabriel Domergue in the style of Fiesole, near Florence. The villas are not open to the public. Villa Domergue may be visited on appointment.

Île Sainte-Marguerite (St Marguerite Island)

It took “The Man in the Iron Mask” 11 years to leave this tiny, forested island. The mysterious individual was believed to be of noble blood, but his identity has never been proven.

His cell can be visited in the Fort of St Marguerite, now renamed the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea), which also houses discoveries from shipwrecks off the island, including Roman (1st century BC) and Saracen (10th century AD) ceramics.

Île Saint-Honorat (St Honorat Island)

Cistercian monks are the only inhabitants of the smaller, southern St Honorat Island. Monks have inhabited the island since AD410 and, at the height of their powers, owned Cannes, Mougins and Vallauris.

Medieval vestiges remain in the stark church, which is open to the public, and in the ruins of the 11th-century monastery on the sea’s edge. The monks divide their time between prayer and producing red and white wines.

Festivals and show events

The Cannes Film Festival (French: le Festival international du film de Cannes or simply le Festival de Cannes), is held annually, usually in May.

The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is a global event and awards show for those working in advertising and related fields, held annually in June.

Midem, the foremost trade show for the music industry.

MIPIM, the worlds largest property-related trade show.

Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Carnival on the Riviera is an annual parade through the streets to mark the 21-day period prior to Shrove Tuesday.

The International Festival of Games is festival of bridge, belote, backgammon, chess, draughts, tarot and more (February).

Festival de la Plaisance is an event for boating enthusiasts in the Vieux Port (September).

The International Actors’ Performance Festival: comedy sketches and performances by fringe artists.

The International Luxury Travel Market brings together under one roof the top international luxury travel providers with suppliers from all around the world.

Le Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique is a magnificent annual fireworks competition held in the summer at the Bay of Cannes.

Mipcom and MIPTV, held in October and April respectively, the world’s most important trade markets for the television industry.

The Pan-African Film Festival, held in early April features films from the African diaspora

Transport

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport

Located 24 km (15 mi) from Cannes, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has close to 10 million passengers a year. Marseille Provence Airport is also 150 km (93 mi) away. The smaller Cannes – Mandelieu Airport is also nearby. CannesExpress operate a regular door-2-door Airport Shuttle service between Nice Airport and hotels/accommodations in Cannes. Price per seat is 20 Euros.

Rail

TGV rail services to the Gare de Cannes provide access from major French cities, including Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Paris and Toulouse – Other cities with rail connections include Brussels (6 hours), Milan (5 hours), Basel (10 hours), Rome (10 hours) and Venice (10 hours). The minor train stations Gare de Cannes-La Bocca and Gare du Bosquet serve only regional destinations.

Bus

Coach services arrive at the Gare Routière de Cannes, in the centre of the city, near the Town Hall. Companies from abroad include Eurolines and Agence Phoceens. Regional services are by Rapides Côte d’Azur and CTM, with services from Nice and Grasse/Mandelieu respectively. Local bus services are provided by Bus Azur.

Ferry

Ferries are available in Nice harbour from Bastia and Calvi in Corsica, with services provided by SNCM Ferryterranée and Corsica Ferries. From Bastia, the journey is 4 hours, 45 minutes on conventional ferries and 3 hours, 40 minutes on express ferries, while from Calvi, conventional vessels take 3 hours, 45 minutes and express vessels take 2 hours, 45 minutes. An average of four ferries a day sail on these routes, with more during summer.

Visit Nice

Nice

I absolutely love the South of France and especially Nice. Its a place I like to visit often, to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

Nice is a city in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast, between Marseille, France, and Genoa, Italy, with 1,197,751 inhabitants in the metropolitan area at the 2007 estimate.

The city is a major tourist centre and a leading resort on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice.

Before referring to climate tables, one should be aware that the official Nice temperatures are recorded at the airport, which is a climatically different place than the rest of the town, being more vulnerable to marine air and winds from the Var valley.

Airport temperatures are therefore different from town ones : daytime airport temperatures are slightly higher, while night time temperatures are significantly lower. For example, on the 24th of January this year, a minimum of 0.9°C was recorded at the airport while the temperature didn’t go below 6°C in the city itself. The following statistics and descriptions use official temperatures.

Nice at Night

Nice has a Mediterranean climate : the city enjoys mild temperatures most of the year; rainfall is very moderate and mainly concentrated in the darkest part of the year (September to March). Whilst I enjoy visiting in the summer months, Nice changes its personality during the winter months and I can’t resist coming back to see how things change. For one the majority of tourists have left and the cooler days are very welcome. Its great to spend time walking in the winter months. I love the Promenade de Anglais (the English walkway) Its great strolling down the miles of sea front, or maybe just sitting in a cafe there and watching the world go by.

Winters, starting in December, are cool to mild with daytime temperature generally remaining between 10°C and 17°C and colder overnight lows. However, the temperature rarely reaches freezing point, which occur only once or twice a year. During winter, overcast skies are common and sporadic rain falls.

As winter ends in March, weather becomes more unstable and unpredictable : warm, sunny days (26°C the 2nd of March 2007) can be followed by sudden hailstorms and cold fronts (7°C the 1st of April 2007).

However, generally, the weather becomes increasingly sunny as summer approaches.
Summers start quite late because of a notable season lag. Drought starts in July, and really hot temperatures become common in August, which is the warmest month with daytime highs frequently reaching 35°C. Summer heat is however often moderated by a cool and pleasant sea breeze.

Autumn, starting in late September, is generally warm until mid-November, and rainy (especially October with an average rainfall of 140mm).

Nice is a windy city, especially in spring. Snow is so rare that it is remembered by inhabitants as special events.

Nice is a place that you go to relax, unwind and maybe find inspiration. Nice is the most popular place to visit in France next to Paris. It has the highest density of Hotel accommodation and has over 4 million tourists visit each year.

The city has a number of lush beautiful parks and several large shopping arcades.  Once you get to Nice, pretty much everything you need is within walking distance. The airport is only four miles from the city centre and is very easy to access.

There is also a weekly open market in the walled square and I have spent hours just browsing the fresh fruit and veg, paintings and antiques, bread cheese and just about anything else you can imagine being sold there.

What about Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance

Do you need Travel Insurance to visit France?

France is a member of the European Union and a close neighbour of the United Kingdom, separated only by a stretch of water (or a tunnel) depending on how you intend to travel here.

As a member of Europe and whilst visiting France, you are entitled to take advantage of the same medical benefits that a French Citizen would get. This is due to an arrangement for European Members and provided you take out the EHIC card (The European Health Insurance Card).

Now you may or may not be aware that enrollment of this card is completely free of charge. Unfortunately there are numerous websites, trying to attract you and charge a fee!

Take it from me the only place you need to go to is here.

It is simple to do and only takes a few minutes. Once armed with this card, if you have a medical emergency whilst in France present it and you will have the same benefits as a French Citizen.

Travel Insurance

Now you might think that having an EHIC card is all you need when you visit my country, or indeed any other country in Europe.  What else could possibly go wrong?

I am sure that in most cases, your trip to France, how ever long it is, will go very smoothly and leave you with some amazing memories, but what happens to you if something goes wrong?

What if your flight or train journey is cancelled. We do like our strikes in France and sometimes they can happen without warning.  If you couldn’t take your trip, what happens to the cost of the accommodation, the travel etc? If you don’t have any insurance it would be lost.

What would happen if all your baggage got lost or stolen? If you didn’t have any travel insurance, it would be lost.

What would happen if you accidentally injured someone and they tried to sue you? If you didn’t have travel insurance, you wouldn’t have anyone to fight a claim on your behalf or settle any damages.

What happened if your injury was severe or permanent and you needed some compensation to help you in the future. If you didn’t have insurance, there would be nothing to help you out.

I could go on, but don’t want to put a dampener on your holiday. If you know where to look, travel insurance is relatively cheap, especially if you are only going for a few days. Two weeks in France for a family of four can be as low as £20 or as much as £130.

Single Trip Travel Insurance, is the cheapest way to go. You only pay for the specific number of days of travel and very often children go free. However if you have fallen in love with France and plan to have several trips over here, then an Annual Travel Insurance policy would save you money in the long term.

Whichever you choose to go with, do it as soon as you book your holiday, that way you can forget about it, knowing that you are covered for most problems and spend the time looking forward to visiting France.

The Eiffel Tower

eiffel-tower

The Eiffel Tower, or Tour Eiffel, is an iron tower in the center of Paris that has become an icon of Paris as well as France. It is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

The Eiffel Tower is located on the Champs de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris. It has been visited by more than 200,000,000 people since its construction in 1889. In 2006 alone, 6,719,200 visited the tower, making it the most visited paid monument in the world.

Eiffel Tower stands at a height of 324 m (1,063 ft) high (since 2000), including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna. This is equivalent to the height of a 81 storey conventional building. It was the world’s tallest tower When it was completed in 1889, and it retained that title until 1930, when it was surpassed by New York City’s Chrysler Building (319 m / 1,047 ft tall). When I wrote this, the Eiffel Tower was the fifth-tallest structure in France (I was informed that it has slipped to 8th position since then) and the tallest structure in Paris, with the second-tallest being the Tour Montparnasse (210 m / 689 ft).

eiffel from below

Getting there

Location     Quai Branly, Champ de Mars, 75007 Paris
Opening Hours: 9:00 am – midnight daily mid-Jun to end Aug; 9:30 am – 11:00 rest of year; last entry 30 min before closing.
Metro Station: Bir-Hakeim
Bus: Nos. 42, 69, 82, 87
Train Station: RER Line C, Champ de Mars – Eiffel Tower Station

Entrance Fees

For the latest entrance prices, please refer to the tower’s official website.

Restaurants
Altitude 95 at Level 1
Jules Verne at Level 2
Snack bars on ground floor, Levels 1 & 2

Eiffel Tower

Gift shops at Levels 1 & 2, wheelchair access to Levels 1 & 2, Post Office at Level 1

Nearby Sights
Musée du Quai Branly
Parc du Champ de Mars
Palais du Chaillot
Musée d’Art Moderne de las Ville de Paris
Musée Galliéra

Details about Eiffel Tower

technical drawing eiffel tower

The metal structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tonnes while the entire structure including non-metal components is approximately 10,000 tonnes. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in) because of thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. The tower also sways 6-7 cm (2-3 in) in the wind. As demonstration of the economy of design, if the 7300 tonnes of the metal structure were melted down it would fill the 125 meter square base to a depth of only 6 cm (2.36 in), assuming a density of the metal to be 7.8 tonnes per cubic meter. The tower has a mass less than the mass of the air contained in a cylinder of the same dimensions, that is 324 meters high and 88.3 meters in radius. The weight of the tower is 10,100 tonnes compared to 10,265 tonnes of air.

technical drawing eiffel

The first and second levels are accessible by stairways and lifts. A ticket booth at the south tower base sells tickets to access the stairs which begin at that location. At the first platform the stairs continue up from the east tower and the third level summit is only accessible by lift. From the first or second platform the stairs are open for anyone to ascend or descend regardless of whether they have purchased a lift ticket or stair ticket.

The actual count of stairs includes 9 steps to the ticket booth at the base, 328 steps to the first level, 340 steps to the second level and 18 steps to the lift platform on the second level. When exiting the lift at the third level there are 15 more steps to ascend to the upper observation platform. The step count is printed periodically on the side of the stairs to give an indication of progress of ascent. The majority of the ascent allows for an unhindered view of the area directly beneath and around the tower although some short stretches of the stairway are enclosed.

Maintenance of the tower includes applying 50 to 60 tonnes of paint every seven years to protect it from rust. In order to maintain a uniform appearance to an observer on the ground, three separate colors of paint are used on the tower, with the darkest on the bottom and the lightest at the top. On occasion the colour of the paint is changed; the tower is currently painted a shade of brownish-grey. On the first floor there are interactive consoles hosting a poll for the colour to use for a future session of painting. The co-architects of the Eiffel Tower are Emile Nouguier, Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre.

Construction of the Eiffel Tower

History of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Gustave Eiffel had originally planned to build it in Barcelona for the Universal Exposition of 1888. However the Barcelona City Hall regarded it as a strange and expensive structure not fitting the design of the city. After being refused by Barcelona, Eiffel submitted his draft to the Universal Exhibition in Paris. He started build his tower a year later, in 1889.

Three hundred workers joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron (a very pure form of structural iron), using two and a half million rivets, in a structural design by Maurice Koechlin. The risk of accident was great, for unlike modern skyscrapers the tower is an open frame without any intermediate floors except the two platforms. However, because Eiffel took safety precautions, including the use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, there was only one fatality during construction. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May.

Eiffel tower at night

The Eiffel Tower was initially met with much criticism from the Paris public, with many calling it an eyesore. Newspapers of the day were filled with angry letters from the arts community of Paris. Novelist Guy de Maupassant – who claimed to hate the tower – supposedly ate lunch in the Tower’s restaurant every day. When asked why, he said that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure.

Despite the negative reception, the Tower is today widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art. Most Hollywood movies in Paris always include a view from a Parisian window with the tower in sight. In reality, due to zoning restrictions on height of buildings in Paris to be no more than 7 stories, very few tall buildings actually have a clear view of the tower.

Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years, meaning it would have had to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it could be easily demolished) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiration of the permit. The military used it to dispatch Parisian taxis to the front line during the First Battle of the Marne, and it therefore became a victory statue of that battle.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the tower has been used for radio transmission. Until the 1950s, an occasionally modified set of antenna wires ran from the summit to anchors on the Avenue de Suffren and Champ de Mars. They were connected to long-wave transmitters in small bunkers; in 1909, a permanent underground radio centre was built near the south pillar and still exists today. On 20 November 1913, the Paris Observatory, using the Eiffel Tower as an antenna, exchanged sustained wireless signals with the United States Naval Observatory which used an antenna in Arlington, Virginia. The object of the transmissions was to measure the difference in longitude between Paris and Washington, D.C.

View-from-eiffel-tower
Going Up the Tower

The original lifts to the first and second floors were provided by two companies. Both companies had to overcome many technical obstacles as neither company (or indeed any company) had experience with installing lifts climbing to such heights with large loads. The slanting tracks with changing angles further complicated the problems. The East and West lifts were supplied by the French company Roux Combaluzier Lepape, using hydraulically powered chains and rollers. Contemporary engravings of the lift cars show that the passengers were seated at this time but it is not clear whether this was conceptual.

It would be unnecessary to seat passengers for a journey time of around a couple of minutes. The North and South lifts were provided by the American Otis company using car designs similar to the original installation but using an improved hydraulic and cable scheme. The French lifts had a very poor performance and were replaced with the current installations in 1897 (West Pillar) and 1899 (East Pillar) by Fives-Lille using an improved hydraulic and rope scheme. Both of the original installations operated broadly on the principle of the Fives-Lille lifts.

The Fives-Lille lifts were completely upgraded in 1986 to meet modern safety requirements and to make the lifts easier to operate. A new computer controlled system was installed which completely automated the operation. One of the three counterbalances was taken out of use, and the cars were replaced with a more modern and lighter structure. Most importantly, the main driving force was removed from the original water pump such that the water hydraulic system provided only a counterbalancing function. The main driving force was transferred to a 320 kW electrically driven oil hydraulic pump which drives a pair of hydraulic motors on the chariot itself thus providing the motive power. The new lift cars complete with their carriage and a full 92 passenger load weigh 22 tonnes.

Due to elasticity in the ropes and the time taken to get the cars level with the landings, each lift in normal service takes an average of 8 minutes and 50 seconds to do the round trip spending an average of 1 minute and 15 seconds at each floor. The average journey time between floors is just 1 minute.

Top of the eiffel tower

The original lift from the second to the third floor were also of a water powered hydraulic design supplied by Léon Edoux. Instead of using a separate counterbalance, the two lift cars counterbalanced each other. A pair of 81 metre long hydraulic rams were mounted on the second level reaching nearly half way up to the third level. A lift car was mounted on top of the rams. Ropes ran from the top of this car up to a sheave on the third level and back down to a second car. The result of this arrangement was that each car only travelled half the distance between the second and third levels and passengers were required to change lifts halfway walking between the cars along a narrow gangway with a very impressive and relatively unobstructed downward view. The 10 tonne cars held 65 passengers each or up to 4 tonnes.

One interesting feature of the original installation was that the hoisting rope ran through guides to retain it on windy days to prevent it flapping and becoming damaged. The guides were mechanically moved out of the way of the ascending car by the movement of the car itself. In spite of some antifreeze being added to the water that operated this system, it nevertheless had to close to the public from November to March each year.

The original lifts complete with their hydraulic mechanism were completely scrapped in 1982 after 97 years of service. They were replaced with two pairs of relatively standard rope hoisted cars which were able to operate all the year round. The cars operate in pairs with one providing the counterbalance for the other.

Neither car can move unless both sets of doors are closed and both operators have given a start command. The commands from the cars to the hoising mechanism are by radio obviating the necessity of a control cable. The replacement installation also has the advantage that the ascent can be made without changing cars and has reduced the ascent time from 8 minutes (including change) to 1 minute and 40 seconds.

This installation also has guides for the hoisting ropes but they are electrically operated. The guide once it has moved out of the way as the car ascends automatically reverses when the car has passed to prevent the mechanism becoming snagged on the car on the downward journey in the event it has failed to completely clear the car. Unfortunately these lifts do not have the capacity to move as many people as the 3 public lower lifts and long queues to ascend to the third level are common. Most of the intermediate level structure present on the tower today was installed when the lifts were replaced and allows maintenance workers to take the lift half way.

The replacement of these lifts allowed the restructuring of the criss-cross beams in upper part of the tower and further allowed the installation of two emergency staircases. These replaced the dangerous winding stairs that were installed when the tower was constructed.

Eiffel Tower Restaurants

The tower has two restaurants: Altitude 95, on the first floor (95 m, 311 ft, above sea level); and Jules Verne, an expensive gastronomical restaurant on the second floor, with a private lift. This restaurant has one star in the Michelin Red Guide. In January 2007, a new multi-Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse was brought in to run Jules Verne.

JulesVerneParis
Staying in Paris

If you are planning to stay, here are some apartments in Paris to rent that are close by all the major attractions. Many of the points of interest in Paris are available with stylish apartments close by. Experience the true side of Paris by having the Parisian life.

Facts about France

About France

About France

Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. French people often refer to Metropolitan France as L’Hexagone (The “Hexagon”) because of the geometric shape of its territory.

France is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. Due to its overseas departments, France also shares land borders with Brazil and Suriname (bordering French Guiana) , and the Netherlands Antilles (bordering Saint-Martin). France is also linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel.

France is a unitary semi-presidential republic. Its main ideals are expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

France was the world’s foremost power from the latter half of the 17th century until the early 19th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries, France built one of the largest colonial empires of the time, stretching across West Africa and Southeast Asia, prominently influencing the cultures and politics of the regions.

France is a developed country, with the sixth (nominal GDP) or eighth (PPP) largest economy in the world. It is the most visited country in the world, receiving over 79 million foreign tourists annually (including business visitors, but excluding people staying less than 24 hours in France). France is one of the founding members of the European Union, and has the largest land area of all members. France is also a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, and the Latin Union.

It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council; it is also an acknowledged nuclear power.

While Metropolitan France is located in Western Europe, France also has a number of territories in North America, the Caribbean, South America, the southern Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and Antarctica. These territories have varying forms of government ranging from overseas department to overseas collectivity.

Metropolitan France covers 547,030 square kilometres (211,209 sq mi), having the largest area among European Union members and slightly larger than Spain. France possesses a wide variety of landscapes, from coastal plains in the north and west to mountain ranges of the Alps in the south-east, the Massif Central in the south-central and Pyrenees in the south-west. At 4,807 metres (15,770 ft) above sea-level, the highest point in Western Europe, Mont Blanc, is situated in the Alps on the border between France and Italy.

Metropolitan France also has extensive river systems such as the Loire, the Garonne, the Seine and the Rhône, which divides the Massif Central from the Alps and flows into the Mediterranean sea at the Camargue, the lowest point in France (2 m / 6.5 ft below sea level). Corsica lies off the Mediterranean coast.

France’s total land area, with its overseas departments and territories (excluding Adélie Land), is 674,843 square kilometres (260,558 sq mi), 0.45% of the total land area on Earth. However, France possesses the second-largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the world, covering 11,035,000 square kilometres (4,260,000 sq mi), approximately 8% of the total surface of all the EEZs of the world, just behind the United States (11,351,000 km² / 4,383,000 sq mi) and ahead of Australia (8,232,000 km² / 3,178,000 sq mi).

Metropolitan France is situated between 41° and 51° North, on the western edge of Europe, and thus lies within the northern temperate zone. The north and northwest have a temperate climate, while a combination of maritime influences, latitude and altitude produce a varied climate in the rest of Metropolitan France. In the south-east a Mediterranean climate prevails. In the west, the climate is predominantly oceanic with a high level of rainfall, mild winters and cool to warm summers. Inland the climate becomes more continental with hot, stormy summers, colder winters and less rain. The climate of the Alps and other mountainous regions is mainly alpine, with the number of days with temperatures below freezing over 150 per year and snow cover lasting for up to six months.

Lyon

Lyon

Why visit Lyon?

Lyon is a city in east central France. It is the third largest French city, the first being Paris and the second Marseille. It is a major centre of business, situated between Paris and Marseille, and has a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy and a significant role in the history of cinema. It is also the religious capital of France for the Roman Catholic Church.

Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Lyon forms the second largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, with 1,783,400 inhabitants at the 2007 estimate, and approximately the 20th to 25th largest metropolitan area of Western Europe. Its urban area (Région Urbaine de Lyon), represents half of the Rhône-Alpes région population with 2,9 million inhabitants. Lyon is also a major industrial center specialized in chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries.

Lyon Map

Lyon is the préfecture (capital) of the Rhône département, and also the capital of the Rhône-Alpes région. The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lyon is known to be the silk capital of the world and is a centre for fashion. It is also the international headquarters of Interpol and EuroNews.

Lyon’s geography is dominated by the Rhône and Saône rivers which converge to the south of the historic city center forming a sort of peninsula or “presqu’île”; two large hills, one to the west and one to the north of the historic city center; and a large plain which sprawls eastward from the historic city center.

To the west is Fourvière, known as “the hill that prays”, the location for the highly decorated Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica, several convents, the palace of the Archbishop, the Tour métallique (a highly visible TV tower, replicating the last stage of the Eiffel Tower) and a funicular.

Cathédrale-St.-Jean Lyon

To the north is the Croix-Rousse, “the hill that works”, traditionally home to many small silk workshops, an industry for which the city was renowned.

The original medieval city (Vieux Lyon) was built on the west bank of the Saône river at the foot of the Fourvière hill, west of the presqu’île. (This area, along with portions of the presqu’ile and much of the Croix-Rousse are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On the peninsula (presqu’île) between the rivers Rhône and Saône is located the third largest public square in France, and one of the largest in Europe, the Place Bellecour. Specifically, it is the largest clear square (i.e., without any patches of greenery, trees or any other kind of obstacles) in Europe. The broad, pedestrian-only Rue de la République leads north from Place Bellecour.

East of the Rhône from the presqu’île is a large area of flat ground upon which sits much of modern Lyon and most of the city’s population. Situated in this area is the urban centre of Part-Dieu which clusters the former Crédit Lyonnais Tower (central France’s only skyscraper), the Part-Dieu shopping centre, and Lyon’s main rail terminal, Lyon Part-Dieu.

Lyon

North of this district is the relatively wealthy 6th arrondissement, which is home to the Parc de la Tête d’Or, one of Europe’s largest urban parks, the prestigious Lycée du Parc to the south of the park, and Interpol’s headquarters on the park’s western edge.

An Introduction to the French way of life

The French way of life

How can a country so plump with pleasant offerings harbour a people so fond of bickering? Truth is the French passion for life reaches to both extremes; the subtle enjoyment of all things fine and the vociferous discontent with all that is not exactly perfect.

For the visitor, political disputes, looming strikes and the cheese that has gone ‘off’ is not likely to be an issue accepting perhaps the bad cheese.

For the visitor, France promises to be a fountain of exquisite pleasure. A place where your senses thrill to new and unexpected surprises. This is the world of haute cuisine, haute couture, fine wine and fine art. Where gothic cathedrals and medieval castles fill your soul with inspiration and wonder.

Where alpine meadows lead from rustic villages to the snowy Alps. Where rocky windswept headlands protect sleepy fishing ports, and where glittering crowds strut the promenades of ritzy seaside towns. France is a basket of fresh bread and ripe cheese; of wineskins, hunting dogs and truffles; of trawlers and salty beards and strong tobacco; perfume, catwalks and celebrities le Mistral! Le Mans, Le Tour de France, Vendee Globe, Château Neuf du Pape, Champagne, Bordeaux, Brie, Camembert, Yves Saint- Laurent, Coco Chanel, Monet, Gauguin, Bizet, Debussy the list is exhaustive if not endless, but all represent icons of French culture that have reached beyond her shores to an appreciative world audience.

France, in the heart of Europe, is a destination fit for connoisseurs, gourmets and anyone who can appreciate good living.

The French way of life
Paris

The one and only Paris, the City of Light, admired for centuries as a centre for the highest order of human expression. Once a magnet for great artists, philosophers and all who aspired to gain a certain sophistication associated with French aristocracy.

Paris is a majestic city of grand boulevards and striking architecture with an unrivalled energy that still draws visitors numbering in the hundreds of thousands each year.

On the streets and in the cafes amid much gesticulating and excited expressions, frenetic Parisians seemingly indifferent to the grandeur of their city, go about their business.

Tourists, on other hand, are not hard to spot; they are normally standing awe-struck before one of any number of celebrated monuments, cathedrals, or buildings. Since the 3rd century when the Parisii tribe first settle on the banks of the Seine River, Paris has flourished and expanded its sphere of influence.

Having consolidated its political power and cultural prowess late in the 10th century, Paris became the capital of France. Its position as the nation’s premier city has remained undisputed ever since, despite periods of war, revolution, and foreign occupation. This alluring city in the north central portion of France, boasts so many remarkable heritage sites and stunning examples of modern architectural art forms, it would be an arduous task indeed to highlight each one.

Many, such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Grande Arche at La Défense, and the George Pompidou Centre are world-renowned.

The Louvre remains a sumptuous never-ending feast for the eyes. The streets, alleys and cafes of neighbourhoods like the Latin Quarter, Montmartre and Mon parnasse continue to entice visitors to experience the rich and colourful ambiance of past and present day Paris.

The Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes are the large forested parks flanking the city centre providing recreation and leisure opportunities to harried Parisians and curious tourists alike.

On the outskirts of Paris towards the southwest, is the fabulous Chateau Versailles of Louis XIV-not to be missed. Above all, Paris is an event that will remain etched in your mind long after you have gone back home.

Eiffel Tower

After a time wandering the hillsides and rustic villages of the Vaucluse surrounding the historical city of Avignon, the seaside communities of the French Riviera are the logical next step.

A great place to start is from the ancient seaport of Marseille, founded by Greek seafarers in the 7th century BC. It is the second largest city in France, and still very proud of its notorious proclivity to provoke Parisian contempt.

The winding roads along the coast from Marseille lead over hilly outcrops offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, past towns and cities and villas and mega yachts and beaches lined with glistening bodies. Flash cars and jet setters sparkle and shimmer among the crowds of vacationing Europeans in towns like St. Tropez, Cannes, Antibes (Juan-Les-Pins), and Monaco.

Nice is the principal resort city of the Cote d’Azur, and a great place to visit museums devoted to works of the 20th-century artists Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. The Cote d’Azur is Nirvana for millions of sun-worshippers during the high summer season. The winter sun finds contented communities enjoying the peace and quiet of deserted beaches, ‘closed for the season’ shop signs and cooler climes.

Cote D'Azur

For a tour of quite a different order, visit the rocky homeland of the Celts, Bretagne.

From this northwest corner of France, at the top of the Bay of Biscay, a rugged coastline of sandy beaches and jagged rock extends south from seaports such as Brest, Nantes, La Rochelle, and Bordeaux to the elegant resort town of Biarritz in Aquitaine.

Bretagne features shellfish, crusty seafarers, windswept headlands and cozy cafes. A side trip inland from Nantes to Tours would gratify those seeking the delights of wine tasting by traipsing through some of the best wine growing regions of France (the Loire valley to Bordeaux). Biarritz, nestled in the southwest corner of France, is a perfect place for sorties in the Basque country and the Navarra region of northern Spain.

For access to the Hautes Pyrenees head east to Lourdes. A special feature of Lourdes is the grotto where the 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary. The medieval fortress town of Lourdes now attracts a multitudeof grotto-visiting pilgrims each year.
Bay of Biscay

Aside from the notable array of historic sites and museums, such as the illustrious restored 13th-century Cathedral Notre-Dame, considered one of the finest Gothic structures in France, Reims is the centre for Champagne production in France.

After all the ‘bubbly’ you can drink, consider the fine white wines of Lorraine-Alsace. A specialty of the countryside surrounding Strasbourg is the homemade sweet liqueur derived from the Mirabel fruit.

Considerable pride and secrecy veil ancient family recipes. Strasbourg, where yet another famous Cathedral de Notre Dame is located, is dandy city to spend time in.

Enjoy a little ‘pâté de foie gras’ with your ‘vin d’Alsace’ because Strasbourg is big on the production of foie gras (goose liver pâté). Should you decide the time is nigh to put aside the self-indulgent whims of gastronomy for those of fresh mountain air and vigorous alpine trails, climb the Alps a little further to the south.

French, Swiss and Italian Alps all come together near Lyon, France’s third largest city at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Lyon, once an important centre for silk production, has turned to the manufacture of synthetic fibres today.

French Alps

Among the many exceptional museums of the city is the Historical Museum of Textiles. From Lyon, the road east leads to the majestic Alps; south, along the Rhône Valley through Provence to the Med; west, takes you to the Massif Central where sheep and goats roam, and where ancient underground chambers display prehistoric wall paintings of animals.

Visiting France can be approached from a thousand and one different ways under any number of themes. Whether your choose to meander through wine growing regions by river barge or cycle the rural routes of Auvergne, chances are, just over the horizon another dimension of this multifaceted country will attract your attention. The problem with France is, no matter how many times you visit, it keeps calling you back.

Astuces Français

French Travel Tips

Avant d’entrer dans les endroits à visiter en France et sa riche histoire, je Henry Badabing voudrais vous fournir quelques conseils de voyage français.
Arrivée

Selon votre nationalité, la durée et la raison de votre séjour en France, il peut être nécessaire pour vous d’obtenir un visa avant de quitter. Dans ce cas, vous devez demander au consulat français dans votre pays. Pour les citoyens des pays de l’Union européenne, une carte d’identité valide actuelle est suffisante. Toutefois, si vous êtes un citoyen d’un autre pays, un passeport est obligatoire, avec un visa pour certains pays. Pour vérifier si cela vous concerne, s’il vous plaît allez à: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/venir/visas

Aucun vaccin sont nécessaires pour entrer en France. Il y a deux aéroports internationaux à Paris: Roissy-Charles de Gaulle et Orly. Transferts à Paris peuvent être faites par une navette, en taxi ou, si vous arrivez à Orly, le métro.
Climat

La France est influencée par un climat tempéré. Continental France est divisée en quatre zones climatiques: océanique et le climat humide avec des étés souvent frais à l’ouest d’une ligne de Bayonne à Lille; climat semi-continental avec des hivers rigoureux et des étés chauds en Alsace, Lorraine, le long du couloir rhodanien et dans les régions montagneuses (Alpes, Pyrénées et Massif Central); climat intermédiaire avec des hivers froids et des étés chauds dans le nord et dans le Paris et les régions centrales; climat méditerranéen avec des hivers doux et des étés très chauds dans le sud de la France.
Devise

L’euro est maintenant la monnaie officielle de 12 États membres de l’UE (y compris la France). Euro (€) = 100 cents. Billets sont en coupures de € 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 et 5. Les pièces sont en coupures de 2 € et 1, et 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 et 1 cents.

machines automatiques de billets peuvent être trouvés dans la plupart des centres commerciaux. Bureau de change peut être effectué à toutes les banques et les bureaux de poste. «Les bureaux de change» (changeurs) peut également être trouvée dans les grands magasins, les gares, les aéroports et à proximité des sites touristiques.

Conseils de Voyage français, bien que le taux de change est fixe, les taux de commission ne sont pas. Ceux-ci doivent être clairement affichés. Principales cartes de crédit sont acceptées dans de nombreux magasins, hôtels et restaurants. Les commerçants déclarent souvent un montant minimum requis pour être dépensés afin de traiter un paiement par carte de crédit.
Temps

UTC / GMT (+1)

En France, l’heure d’été commence le dernier dimanche de Mars à 2 heures du matin. A ce moment, une heure est ajoutée à l’heure actuelle. DST (heure de l’heure d’été) se termine le dernier dimanche d’Octobre à 3 heures du matin. A ce moment, une heure est enlevée de l’heure actuelle.
Heures de travail

Les banques à Paris sont généralement 10h00-17 heures 00, du lundi au vendredi. Tout au long du reste de la France, les banques sont généralement ouverts 10 heures-13 heures et 15 heures-17 heures, du mardi au samedi. Les banques ferment souvent tôt la veille d’un jour férié.

magasins non alimentaires sont ouverts de 9 ou 09:30 à 6 ou 18h30 du lundi au samedi, et quelques grands magasins dans les grandes villes restent ouverts jusqu’à 11 h un ou deux soirs par semaine. Les petits commerces, en particulier dans les villes rurales, peuvent fermer pour le déjeuner et le lundi. Beaucoup de magasins d’alimentation ouverts dès 7 heures ainsi que l’ouverture le dimanche matin. Certains restaurants ont des horaires fixes servant des repas spécifiques. La semaine de travail moyenne est de 39 heures.
la communication

La France se classe au cinquième rang mondial en matière de télécommunications. Beaucoup de maisons françaises ont un «minitel’-un ordinateur relié à un téléphone offrant une grande variété de services, y compris les réservations de billets et d’achats à domicile. Le service de messagerie est efficace. Les visiteurs ne rencontreront aucune difficulté avec les services publics de télécommunication.

Toute la France reçoit les chaînes de télévision publiques France 2, France 3, Canal 5 / Art, et deux stations privées détenues, TF1 et M6. émissions supplémentaires par câble ou par satellite et des services haut de gamme tels que Canal Plus sont également disponibles.
Électricité

220V, 50Hz Apportez des transformateurs et / ou adaptateurs de prise murale adaptée à vos appareils.
La langue

La langue nationale officielle de la France est le français. La plupart des gens qui travaillent dans l’industrie du tourisme et dans des domaines connexes parlent anglais. De nombreux ressortissants français ont une bonne idée d’une autre langue européenne (allemand, italien ou espagnol). langues et variations régionales, y compris alsacien, basque, le breton, le catalan, le corse et l’occitan sont présents dans le pays.
Code vestimentaire

Conseils de Voyage Français: Mode connaît pas de frontières en France. Tenue est «de rigueur» dans les établissements raffinés. Si vous n’êtes pas sûr des exigences, il est conseillé de téléphoner au préalable.
Transport

Le réseau des routes et des autoroutes est très bien développé en France: près d’un million de kilomètres, dont près de 8000 km sont des autoroutes. Si vous voyagez dans une voiture de location ou Voyage-van, être conscient il y a habituellement un péage pour les voies.

Air France, la compagnie aérienne nationale, relie la plupart des grandes villes de Paris (en une heure en moyenne), ainsi que de servir les connexions entre les villes régionales. Pratique, rapide et confortable, le train est l’un des meilleurs moyens d’obtenir environ en France.

Le système ferroviaire est très développé (en particulier de Paris) et relie chaque ville soit par TGV ou TER (trains express régionaux). Les prix des billets varient en fonction du niveau de confort (il y a 2 classes) et l’heure de départ (heure de pointe ou non). Il y a beaucoup d’options de prix attractifs réservés aux voyageurs étrangers (Europass, Eurodomino, Inter-Rail), qui peuvent être obtenus à partir de votre pays d’origine avant votre départ.

Plusieurs villes en France ont des systèmes de métro ou de tramway et la plupart offrent des moyens complets de bus routes.These de transport servir les centres-villes et banlieues. Rapide et économique, ils sont la manière sans souci le plus pratique pour découvrir une ville.

A Paris, le métro est de loin le moyen le plus rapide et le plus pratique de se déplacer. Le service commence généralement autour de 5h30 et se termine vers 00h30. De nombreuses connexions avec le RER (réseau express régional) et les gares SNCF permettent Voyage facile aux banlieues. Ligne SNCF (Les portes de Paris): un billet acheté à la périphérie d’une gare de Paris inclut désormais également Voyage dans le métro de Paris et bus. Les cinq lignes (A, B, C, D et E) du RER (réseau express régional) traverser Paris et l’Ile-de-France durant les mêmes heures que le métro.

En règle générale, les bus fonctionnent 5 heures 30-20:30. La nuit, le «Noctambus» relie le centre de Paris à la banlieue. Vous pouvez demander une carte du réseau (métro, bus, RER) au métro ou gares RER (délivré gratuitement).

Pour les touristes de Paris Visite Ticket est valable soit pour 1, 2, 3 ou 5 jours consécutifs et permet Voyage illimité dans toutes les zones de l’ensemble du réseau (métro, bus, RER) et sur le Funiculaire de Montmartre.

Près de 15.000 taxis opèrent dans la ville. Vous pouvez les prendre de taxis (indiqué par un panneau carré avec Taxi en blanc sur un fond bleu) ou héler un dans la rue (à condition qu’il est disponible: le “Taxi” signe sur le toit est ensuite complètement allumé, et les petites lumières sous le signe sont éteints).

Paris a mis beaucoup d’accent sur les rues piétonnes et a tracé des chemins réservés aux cyclistes et rollers. Le dimanche, les routes par le côté de la Seine sont réservés aux piétons, cyclistes, rollers.

villes françaises encouragent activement l’utilisation du vélo. Déjà, Rennes, Strasbourg et Nantes ont augmenté le nombre de pistes cyclables, l’espace de stationnement pour les vélos créé, fourni des abris à vélo à proximité de stations de bus et de location sorties de cycle promu dans les parkings.
Établissements de santé

En cas de numérotation d’urgence médicale 15 (SAMU)

SOS Medecins (Paris – médecins d’urgence): 01 47 07 77 77 ou 0 820 332 424

SOS DENTISTES (Paris – dentistes d’urgence): 01 43 37 51 00

Il y a une variété de services médicaux disponibles pour vous en France. Les consultations et les examens par des médecins généralistes, spécialistes, dentistes, etc., ainsi que des installations de la salle d’urgence, seront fournis à tout centre hospitalier ou la santé. Vous pouvez également prendre rendez-vous pour la chirurgie, ou avoir un médecin que vous visitez à votre hôtel.

Les médecins sont soit enregistrées auprès du ministère de la Santé (leurs honoraires sont fixes), ou sont dans un cabinet privé (leurs honoraires seront plus chers). Il y a toujours un médecin sur appel, mais s’il vous plaît être conscient que des visites à domicile et des consultations sur les dimanches et les jours fériés sont toujours plus chers. Pour connaître les adresses et les numéros de téléphone des médecins locaux, demandez au poste de police ou composez le 15 (SAMU – urgences médicales).

Il y a une large sélection de pharmacies dans la plupart des villes. Bien que leurs heures d’affaires sont généralement les mêmes pour les magasins (9 h à 19 heures ou 20 heures), il y a toujours une pharmacie nuits ouvertes, le dimanche et les jours fériés.

Le remboursement des frais médicaux dépend de votre police d’assurance-santé. Vérifiez auprès de votre plan pour être certain que vous avez une couverture suffisante tout en voyageant.

French Travel Tips

French Travel Tips

Before we get into the great places to visit in France and its rich history, I Henry Badabing would like to provide you with a few French Travel Tips.

Arrival

Depending on your nationality, the duration and the reason for your stay in France, it may be necessary for you to obtain a visa before leaving. In this case, you should apply to the French consulate in your country. For citizens of European Union countries, a current valid identity card is sufficient. However, if you are a citizen of another country, a passport is obligatory, with a visa for certain countries. To check if this concerns you, please go to: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/venir/visas/index.html

No vaccinations are required for entering France. There are two international airports in Paris: Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly. Transfers to Paris can be made by shuttle bus, taxi or, if arriving in Orly, metro.

Climate

France is influenced by a temperate climate. Continental France is divided into four climatic zones: Oceanic and humid climate with often cool summers to the west of a line from Bayonne to Lille; Semi-continental climate with harsh winters and hot summers in Alsace, Lorraine, along the Rhone corridor and in the mountainous regions (Alps, Pyrenees and Massif Central); Intermediate climate with cold winters and hot summers in the north, and in the Paris and central regions; Mediterranean climate with mild winters and very hot summers in the south of France.

Currency

The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states (including France). Euro (€) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

Automatic cash machines can be found in most commercial centers. Currency exchange can be carried out at all banks and Post Offices. ‘Bureaux de change’ (moneychangers) can also be found in large department stores, railway stations, airports and near tourist sites.

French Travel Tips, although the exchange rate is fixed, commission rates are not. These must be clearly displayed. Major credit cards are accepted in numerous shops, hotels and restaurants. Shopkeepers often state a minimum amount required to be spent in order to process a credit card payment.

Time

UTC / GMT (+1)

In France daylight savings time starts on the last Sunday in March at 2 o’clock in the morning. At this time, one hour is added to the current time. DST (daylight savings time) ends on the last Sunday in October at 3 o’clock in the morning. At this time, one hour is taken away from the current time.

Business Hours

Banking hours in Paris are usually from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday through Friday. Throughout the rest of France, banks are usually open from 10 am to 1 pm, and 3 pm to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Banks often close early the day before a public holiday.

Non-food shops are open from 9 or 9:30 am to 6 or 6:30 pm Monday through Saturday, and some large stores in big cities stay open until 11 pm one or two evenings a week. Small shops, especially in rural towns, may close for lunch and on Monday. Many food shops open as early as 7 am as well as opening on Sunday mornings. Some restaurants have fixed serving hours for specific meals. The average workweek is 39 hours.

Communication

France ranks fifth in the world in telecommunications. Many French homes have a ‘minitel’-a computer linked to a telephone providing a wide variety of services, including ticket reservations and home shopping. The mail service is efficient. Visitors will not encounter any difficulty with public telecommunication services.

All of France receives the public television channels France 2, France 3, Channel 5/Art, and two privately-held stations, TF1 and M6. Additional broadcasts by cable or satellite and premium services such as Canal Plus are also available.

Electricity

220V, 50Hz Bring suitable transformers and / or wall plug adapters for your appliances.

Language

The official national language of France is French. Most people working in the tourism industry and in related fields speak English. Many French nationals have a good notion of another European language (German, Italian or Spanish). Regional languages and variations, including Alsatian, Basque, Breton, Catalan, Corsican, and Occitan are present in the country.

Dress Code

French Travel Tips: Fashion knows no boundaries in France. Formal dress is ‘de rigueur’ in fine establishments. If you are unsure of requirements, it is advisable to telephone beforehand.

Transport

The network of roads and highways is very well developed in France: nearly one million kilometres, of which almost 8,000 kilometres are highways. If traveling in a rental car or travel-van, be aware there is usually a toll for thoroughfares.

Air France, the national airline company, links most of the large towns to Paris (in one hour on average), as well as serving connections between regional towns. Practical, fast and comfortable, the train is one of the best ways of getting about in France.

The rail system is very developed (especially from Paris) and connects every town by either TGV or TER (regional express trains). Ticket prices vary according to the level of comfort (there are 2 classes) and departure time (rush hour or not). There are many attractive price options reserved for foreign travellers (Europass, Eurodomino, Inter-Rail), which can be obtained from your country of origin before you leave.

Several cities in France have metro or tram systems and most offer comprehensive bus routes.These means of transport serve the town centers and inner suburbs. Fast and economical, they are the most practical worry-free way to discover a town.

In Paris, the metro is by far the quickest and most practical way of getting around. The service usually starts around 5:30 am and ends around 12:30 am. Numerous connections with the RER (Regional express network) and the SNCF railway stations allow easy travel to the suburbs. SNCF Line (Paris outskirts): a ticket purchased from the outskirts to a Paris railway station now also includes travel on the Paris metro and bus. The five lines (A, B, C, D and E) of the RER (Regional express network) cross Paris and the Ile-de-France during the same times as the metro.

Generally, buses operate from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm. At night the ‘Noctambus’ connects the centre of Paris to the suburbs. You can ask for a map of the network (metro, bus, RER) at metro or RER stations (issued free).

For tourists the Paris Visit Ticket is valid for either 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days and allows unlimited travel in all zones of the whole network (metro, bus, RER) and on the Montmartre Funicular.

Almost 15,000 taxis operate in the town. You can take them from taxi stands (indicated by a square sign with Taxi in white on a blue background) or hail one in the street (on condition that it is available: the “Taxi” sign on the roof is then fully lit, and the small lights under the sign are switched off).

Paris has put a lot of emphasis on pedestrian streets and has laid out paths reserved for cyclists and roller-bladers. On Sundays, the roads by the side of the Seine are reserved for pedestrians, cyclists, roller-bladers.

French towns are actively promoting the use of bicycles. Already, Rennes, Strasbourg and Nantes have increased the number of cycle paths, created parking space for bicycles, provided cycle shelters next to bus stations, and promoted cycle rental outlets in car parks.

Health Facilities

In case of medical emergency dial 15 (SAMU)

SOS Medecins (Paris – emergency doctors): 01 47 07 77 77 or 0 820 332 424

SOS Dentistes (Paris – emergency dentists): 01 43 37 51 00

There is a variety of medical services available to you in France. Consultations and examinations by general practitioners, specialists, dentists etc, as well as emergency room facilities, will be provided at any hospital or health center. You can also make an appointment for surgery, or have a doctor visit you at your hotel.

Doctors are either registered with the Department of Health (their fees are fixed), or are in a private practice (their fees will be more expensive). There is always a doctor on call, but please be aware that home visits and consultations on Sundays and public holidays are always more expensive. To find out the addresses and telephone numbers of local doctors, ask at the police station or dial 15 (SAMU – medical emergencies).

There is a wide selection of pharmacies in most towns. Although their hours of business are usually the same for stores (9am to 7pm or 8pm), there is always a pharmacy open nights, Sundays and on public holidays.

Reimbursement of medical costs is dependant on your health insurance policy. Check with your plan to be certain you have sufficient coverage while travelling.